Help your attackers when their back is to the goal

Follow these soccer coaching tips and drills to improve your attackers’ understanding and skills when their backs are to goal. It is a skill in itself being able to turn or move the ball into space without having the luxury of seeing where all the defenders and the goalkeeper are.

Communication skills

The ability to play this role is very dependent on good communication with the surrounding players. Movement by the other players is essential so the player with their back to goal has a lot of options and doesn’t end up turning into trouble and losing the ball.

Keeping possession is important because the team will be in an attacking position. Lose it here and your team will be caught out of position vulnerable to the counter attack.

What you have to think about is:

  • Is the turn realistic?
  • Is the player getting communication from his team mates?
  • Has the player made the right decision – pass back to a team mate or turn and beat the defender?

    drills to get attackers turning and passing


Players pass into the middle player who must turn and dribble out, the passing player then becomes the new middle player.

To extend the drill, the player in the middle now sets the ball back for the starting player and spins to receive a second pass before dribbling out. Finally, add a defender behind the attacker.

If the attacker passes back to the serving player, then a second defender can run out to make a 2v2 situation.

If the attacker does not pass back, he must try to turn and beat the defender to get a shot at goal.

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